The Internet of things is poised to change the way we do business. The IoT all-encompassing idea to network all smart devices and facilitate the coordination of these devices with other devices and human users is spectacular. Most importantly the proper use of IoT could mean that your business gains a competitive edge over your competitors.
Cisco estimates that up to 50 billion devices will be connected to each other by 2020. This means a huge market possibility for your organization. Before we can describe just how your business can leverage the IoT for a competitive advantage, it is important to understand just what IoT brings to the table.
IoT use can be categorized into the following four areas, each with its own benefits and business potential.
- Personal IoT (PIoT) – this is where an individual utilizes their smartphone as a sensor or a pedometer to measure heart rate.
- Group IoT – this is where a group such as a family engages in a smart house or workers in a smart work environment. This area is still being developed.
- Community IoT– a good example of community IoT would be a smart city or a smart road where thousands of people engage in a smart environment.
- Industrial IoT (IIoT) – where smart devices are used within an organization such as a small factory or between organizations with similar interests.
The Internet of Things provides organizations such as yours with the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most important tools to gain a competitive advantage. In order to do this, your organization has to master operational effectiveness. IoT makes it possible for you to achieve operational effectiveness by providing the technologies to do it.
It will however be up to you to adopt the best practices that ensure your organization uses these technologies to achieve effectiveness. As we have seen, IoT has the capability of providing only the best production machinery, sales force methods, IT solutions among other business solutions that will make doing business easier.
In order to leverage IoT correctly, you must combine operational effectiveness with strategic positioning. This is because you must keep in mind that your competitors are no doubt looking to capitalize on the same IoT applications you are. Therefore, how you utilize them will determine whether you become competitive or not.
It is not just a matter of utilizing the new technology IoT provides. It is a matter of doing things well and doing them effectively. It is also an issue of understanding which technologies can be useful to your business and which ones are not.
The Internet of Things is the next evolution of the internet. It will no doubt dictate how we do business and transform the business environment. It will create opportunities for new sources of revenue and make it easier to interact with customers. You want your organization to be at the center of this growth and use the Internet of Things to gain a competitive advantage.
How do you think you can utilize the internet of things to grow your business and do you need any help doing it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.